Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Fall Reading 2019 Spark and the League of Ursus

Spark seems like an ordinary teddy bear, until the lights are out and everyone is asleep - or until danger strikes. As a stuffed bear she is part of the League of Ursus and pledged to defend her dusa (the child who has loved her to life), Loretta. Spark's mentor, Sir Reginald, is the guardian of Loretta's older brother, Matthew When a mysterious creature begins carrying off children from their neighborhood, Spark and Sir Reginald go into action. As brave as they may be, can a few toys hope to defeat something that even adults can't fight?

This is a book that combines elements from many beloved stories. The toys come to life through the love of a child, much like The Velveteen Rabbit. They only move and talk to each other when no humans are around, or are asleep - like in "Toy Story." A nod to "Monsters Inc." has the defenders talking about monsters that feed on human fear. The children are involved in film-making contests and refer to favorite movies such as "Jaws" and "The Empire Strikes Back." The League of Ursus itself is a sort of gathering of knights like Camelot, out to defend the vulnerable and stand back to back against the darkness. In this case that darkness is after children with imagination, similar to the way the Emperor always wants to seduce away young Jedi to the dark side.

If you enjoy stories with a fantasy element, especially a secret world that wakes while we sleep, then try out the tale of Spark.

I read an ARC provided by the publisher for review purposes. Publication is scheduled for April 21, 2020.

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